Nigeria will only achieve industrialisation if it develops its natural gas resources further and builds the infrastructure to convert this into electricity to power businesses and homes, said Ed Ubong, Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Gas Limited (SNG) and President of the Nigeria Gas Association. Partnership with businesses like SNG will play a key role.

Nigeria has around 200 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and about 600 trillion cubic feet of unproven reserves1. However, a lack of adequate power grid infrastructure results in unreliable power supply from the electricity grid and power shortages in urban and rural areas.

Declaring 2021-2030 the “Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria”, the government is determined to develop the gas sector. Gas has enormous potential to diversify and lift the Nigerian economy.

“It’s no secret: Nigeria has a lot of gas. It needs to be brought to the surface. It needs to be monetised and it needs to be consumed,” said Ubong.

The successful development of these resources and the construction of much-needed infrastructure hinge on an investor-friendly business environment, said Ubong. Nigeria currently produces around 4-5 billion cubic feet of gas a day and Ubong believes this could be increased significantly in the right business climate.

“Simply put, Nigeria needs more gas for power and electricity generation. Nigeria needs more gas for homes. Nigeria needs more gas for industry. We need to have big industries; industries that can employ hundreds of thousands of people and produce goods for domestic use and export,” said Ubong. “But to be able to deliver that, Nigeria needs a business climate that is investor-friendly and a business climate that honours contracts. The country also needs a pricing and regulatory framework that is friendly for businesses to operate and allows businesses to plan.”

Nigeria needs to develop vast regional gas infrastructure – the facilities and pipelines – that will carry the gas across the country to where it is needed and into neighbouring countries. Infrastructure is also needed to take the gas from the main pipelines into the industrial and commercial clusters where customers can be connected. In addition to this, Nigeria needs to support smaller facilities by developing the capacity to transport Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to end-users using trucks.

None of the above can be achieved without training people to help deliver on these ambitions. “Nigeria needs to invest in training people or retraining professionals who have spent decades working in an oil-based economy to function effectively in a gas-based economy,” said Ubong.

Read more about the role Shell Companies in Nigeria are playing in developing Nigeria’s gas here.